Hey, Silence here I wanted to talk about what it feels like to be dealing with Harm OCD. This type of OCD was one of the worst I faced: the thoughts in my head would almost LITERALLY come 24/7. I believed these thoughts will be coming for every, every, every single second of my life. Strangely, this actually made me happy; it reminded me that at least I could have a chance of being dead so I wouldn’t have to deal with these thoughts forever. I would count the seconds in which I didn’t have these thoughts and at least be thankful that somehow in my life I was able to find some distraction and have some pleasure in it.
I would have constant thoughts, or reasons, on why I should harm my parents. I thought that harming them would make me happy (you can see my thought process for that in my post called “OCD Mindmap”). I would also think about how God will punish me if I didn’t harm my parents.
An even scarier thing with these thoughts: I didn’t even feel like I was rationally concerned about harming my parents. I was more concerned about my life, and how harming my parents would affect it. That thought itself even concerned me more. I felt like I didn’t even have a heart; the thought of my parents dying didn’t even bother me. I felt like an empty, selfish container, scared of its own coldness.
It was one of the worst feelings ever. I felt like I needed to disappear from the Earth because at any moment I could do something really horrible to harm my parents, ruining my life in the process. All it took was one mistake and everything will be over.
I want to let you know that if you are going through these thoughts, don’t let them nor the thought of not having a heart bother you. You are NOT going to harm anybody.
Trust me, I know the feeling of what it is like to not have respect for yourself as a person. That feeling that you are just a selfish, evil monster. You just don’t believe that you are a good person, so no matter how many times your therapist tells you that the thoughts are part of your OCD, you are still scared.
However, beyond all of these thoughts, I realized that I am not a cruel, heartless, selfish person. My OCD and anxiety was getting in the way of my emotions. I love my parents, they mean the world to me. I am a good person.
I want to give out a list of techniques that I personally have found helpful in realising and dealing with the Harm OCD thoughts.
Don’t be afraid of your emotions, such as:
Being afraid of not having any emotional reaction towards the heartlessness and lack of emotion that you feel in the situation.
Being afraid that you are going to harm the ones you love.
Be afraid of the horrible images that are popping into your head
Being afraid of the bad outcomes that may occur if you were to harm somebody like that.
The lack of emotion that you are feeling is anxiety, stress, or depression. It is not heartlessness. Don’t even be worried about whether your lack of emotions is due to anxiety/stress. Just let all of your emotions roam around and sink in them.
Don’t try to figure every equation out. OCD will sometimes scream at you to make the most of whatever you’re doing and the need of everything being perfect, otherwise there is no meaning to it. There is beauty in not having every cup filled and not having everything figured out in life. Welcome the imperfections.
(DISCLAIMER: I am not a qualified psychologist or therapist, this is only advice that I have found helpful. Make sure to talk to a therapist if you are having concerns)
Tell yourself that whatever that you are thinking about is not that bad. Or that “the situation is not an important one”, “it’s not going to make a difference in my life, or affect negatively or positively in any way”. Trust me, you are not going to believe it at first, but just let the thought cross your mind unbothered. Tell the thought out loud to yourself works too. Once you truly believe that the thought is not that going to affect you in any way, the thought will stop coming in itself.
One thing that has helped me immensely is having somebody that understands my condition and treats my Harm OCD like it’s no big deal; somebody that won’t judge you. Try to make fun of those thoughts, even joke about them. That way, you will consciously, or unconsciously realise and feel that these thoughts are just thoughts.